Attorney Referral Agreement – Sample

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Updated July 28, 2022

An attorney referral agreement allows an attorney from another law firm to work with or completely take over a case in exchange for a fee. According to the American BAR Association (ABA) rules, the client must consent to any referral arrangement made between the referring and handling attorneys.

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Can an Attorney Accept a Referral Fee?

Yes. According to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Rule 1.5(e)), a referral may only be accepted under the following conditions:

(1) the division is in proportion to the services performed by each lawyer or each lawyer assumes joint responsibility for the representation;

(2) the client agrees to the arrangement, including the share each lawyer will receive, and the agreement is confirmed in writing; and

(3) the total fee is reasonable.

What is the Average Attorney Referral Fee?

It is common for attorneys to pay one-third (1/3) of the total amount collected from a client as the referral fee.

How is a Referral Fee Paid?

The referral is commonly paid at the conclusion of the services provided. During the case, if there are retainer fees or payments made to the referred attorney, the portion due as the referral fee will be made at the end of the case. It is common for the referral amount to be a percentage of the total fees paid by the client including any judgments made in their favor.

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Sample Attorney Referral Agreement